You May Not Reap What You Sow: How Employees’ Moral Awareness Minimizes Ethical Leadership’s Positive Impact on Workplace Deviance

You May Not Reap What You Sow: How Employees’ Moral Awareness Minimizes Ethical Leadership’s... Although a growing body of research has shown the positive impact of ethical leadership on workplace deviance, questions remain as to whether its benefits are consistent across all situations. In this investigation, we explore an important boundary condition of ethical leadership by exploring how employees’ moral awareness may lessen the need for ethical leadership. Drawing on substitutes for leadership theory, we suggest that when individuals already possess a heightened level of moral awareness, ethical leadership’s role in reducing deviant actions may be reduced. However, when individuals lack this strong moral disposition, ethical leadership may be instrumental in inspiring them to reduce their deviant actions. To enhance the external validity and generalizability of our findings, the current research used two large field samples of working professionals in both Turkey and the USA. Results suggest that ethical leadership’s positive influence on workplace deviance is dependent upon the individual’s moral awareness—helpful for those employees whose moral awareness is low, but not high. Thus, our investigation helps to build theory around the contingencies of ethical leadership and the specific audience for whom it may be more (or less) influential. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Business Ethics Springer Journals

You May Not Reap What You Sow: How Employees’ Moral Awareness Minimizes Ethical Leadership’s Positive Impact on Workplace Deviance

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Philosophy; Ethics; Business and Management, general; Management; Business Ethics; Quality of Life Research
ISSN
0167-4544
eISSN
1573-0697
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10551-017-3655-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although a growing body of research has shown the positive impact of ethical leadership on workplace deviance, questions remain as to whether its benefits are consistent across all situations. In this investigation, we explore an important boundary condition of ethical leadership by exploring how employees’ moral awareness may lessen the need for ethical leadership. Drawing on substitutes for leadership theory, we suggest that when individuals already possess a heightened level of moral awareness, ethical leadership’s role in reducing deviant actions may be reduced. However, when individuals lack this strong moral disposition, ethical leadership may be instrumental in inspiring them to reduce their deviant actions. To enhance the external validity and generalizability of our findings, the current research used two large field samples of working professionals in both Turkey and the USA. Results suggest that ethical leadership’s positive influence on workplace deviance is dependent upon the individual’s moral awareness—helpful for those employees whose moral awareness is low, but not high. Thus, our investigation helps to build theory around the contingencies of ethical leadership and the specific audience for whom it may be more (or less) influential.

Journal

Journal of Business EthicsSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 2, 2017

References

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